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Charity worker's heartache as thugs trash her prized car while she treks up Cave Hill

By David Young

Heartless vandals trashed a Belfast woman's car as she enjoyed a walk on the city's Cave Hill park.

Katy Skelton's evening walk on Belfast's Cave Hill ended in tears when she returned to her car to find that yobs had flipped her beloved Mini onto its roof - wrecking it in the process.

The 24-year-old charity worker discovered her wrecked car at 8pm on Wednesday as she and a friend returned from their walk.

"My lovely car's ruined," she told the Belfast Telegraph last night. "Windows, bonnet, windscreen, doors - it's all wrecked.

"My handbag was hidden in the boot so at least they didn't get that," she added.

But she said it took the police more than five hours to reach the scene of the crime on a laneway at Belfast's Antrim Road, where her car had been parked.

"I had to sit from 8pm when we found the car to after midnight until the police arrived. It was dark, and I was afraid the people who trashed my car would come back to burn it out.

"The recovery truck arrived at around 4am, and I didn't get home until 5am. It's been an absolute nightmare.

"I wanted to share the photo to warn people, and maybe to jog the memories of people who may have seen something happening."

Katy (25), who lives near Glenavy, depends on the car to get to and from her work in Belfast city centre with charity Inspire.

"It was my first car. I bought it two years ago, and I even gave it a name, Hopkirk, after rally driver Paddy Hopkirk."

Katy said that as she and her friend were walking down from Cave Hill back to the car, her friend said he thought he could hear a car alarm. "I might have walked past the people who did it. Part of me feels sorry for them. They will get caught some time and it will ruin their lives.

"Perhaps they tried to steal the car and couldn't get away - and then wrecked it in frustration. It's pure destruction. Why do they do it? Who knows? But karma will happen."

Police in north Belfast have appealed for information about the incident and have asked anyone with any information that can assist with the investigation to contact officers at Tennent Street on 101 or via the anonymous Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.

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